Saving Power at Home & Work

Energy Consumption Survey

Household Daily Energy Consumption Survey

  • How much electrical energy does the average home use per day?
  • Is my home’s energy consumption normal?
  • How much electricity will I use if I move into a bigger or smaller home?
  • How much energy does each family member typically consume per day?

We thought one way to try and get some answers to these questions would  be to conduct an on-going survey of daily energy consumption (kWh) per household. Hopefully the results would be informative, as well as perhaps useful to the community at large,

The summarised results are updated here periodically, as well as the detailed submissions listed in searchable/sortable tabular as well as graphical form, as the data comes in.  So check back periodically to see the results.

So if you would like to participate, please take a moment to fill in the short form below.  As you can see it is completely anonymous, and does not require much information from you.

We would welcome submissions from everyone who may be interested in participating worldwide.

How to Fill in The Survey Form

Council Supplied Electricity: Apart from the straight forward information about where you live and how big your home might be, the key data required is your average daily council supplied electricity consumption (kWh), which some people may not know off hand, nor where to find that information.  There are a number of alternative sources of that info:

  1. Your council bill will often list your average daily energy consumption for you (eg City of Joburg). If you collect that info for a few recent bills (preferably the last 12 bills), and then average out the results you will get a reasonably good estimate of your daily energy consumption over the year.  If the council does not work out your daily average for you, most bills will usually list somewhere the total kWh measured for the billing period.  All you need to do is divide that kWh number by the number of days covered by the bill.   Please see the example further below.
  2. If you have internet monitoring of your electricity billing meter on your home then you can look up the information that way.
  3. If you have a personal energy monitor (Such as the Owl or Efergy Meters) installed on your DB board you can use the data produced by those meters over a few months.

Energy from Alternative Power Sources: If you already are using  alternative sources of power  such as  solar water heating, gas, wood or solar power, then please estimate  the daily energy consumption figure for your home from those alternative sources separately (last field on the form below), because obviously those will not be included on the council electricity bill.

  1. If you have solar water heating you can estimate the daily energy consumed heating water by using this calculator.  Once you have a figure for daily energy consumed heating water, you can divide that by two to get a rough estimate of the annual daily energy received from the sun via a typical solar water heating system that uses a back-up electric element.
  2. If you have a solar power system installed, then look up the stored data that is often available from the Inverter’s or MPPT’s data memory to get daily energy figures.
  3. If you are using gas for anything, please try and work out how much gas you use on average per day (kg) and then multiply that by 12.9 for LPG (or 10.6 for natural gas), to get a daily energy consumption figure in kWh.
  4. If you are heating your home with wood or anthracite then please estimate how much wood or coal you use per day (kg) and then multiply that figure by 4.1 in the case of wood, or  9.2 in the case of anthracite, to get a daily energy consumption figure in kWh.
  5. Lastly, please add up all the daily energy figures from all alternative sources to get a total combined daily energy figure from all alternative power sources and enter that into the last field on the form.

Reading Your Council Bil

To find the relevant information on your council bill, look for a three things (the information may be on the reverse side of the bill):

  • Some bills make your life easy by calculating the daily average for you (indicated by the green arrow below).  If your bill lists this figure, then you need look no further.
  • Alternatively you need to find:
    • The kWh number for the billing period (ringed in red in the example below).
    • The days covered by the billing  period (ringed in blue in the example below).


If the council doesn’t work out your average daily consupton for you, you will need to divide the kWh figure for the period (ringed in red above), by the number of days in the period (ringed in blue), to get a daily average for the month.

If the council have estimated the reading then maybe just use other bills with actual readings.

Please note fields marked with an asterisk are required.  The units of energy accepted in the relevant entry fields are kWh.  The smallest figure accepted is 1kWh, without any decimals (please round your numbers to the nearest whole number accordingly).